Trazodone is a popular antidepressant medication that is utilised across the globe in the management of clinical depression. However, its actions are not just limited to use in depression but also in a number of other clinical conditions. In this article, we shall briefly review the role of trazodone in the management of sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Trazodone and insomnia
Before we delve into the use of trazodone in the management of insomnia, it is worthwhile briefly reviewing the clinical indications for the use of trazodone. Primarily, trazodone has been utilised in the management of clinical depression and anxiety disorder. During the management of these conditions, one of the effects that it has is that of drowsiness. It is this side-effect that can be used as a clinical application in the management of insomnia.
How trazodone works
There is no clear mechanism described that details the ways that trazodone acts. From the available research, it is believed that trazodone acts by exerting effects on certain neurotransmitters within the brain. The primary neurotransmitter that it has an impact on is called serotonin. By blocking the uptake of serotonin by the receptors in the brain, it can help manage various psychiatric conditions. However, the use of trazodone must be observed with caution in patients who are pregnant or maybe breastfeeding their child. In addition, it should not be utilised in individuals who have a background history of cardiovascular disease or neurological diseases such as seizures. It must also be used with caution in patients with kidney and liver disease.
Possible side effects
Given that the primary indication for trazodone is not the management insomnia, patients who do take this medication must be aware of the side-effects. Reviews on different forums have suggested that patients find that trazodone can interact with other medication that they use and should therefore be taken only as prescribed by a healthcare professional. Some of the common side effects of using trazodone for insomnia can include headache, nausea, blurred vision, tiredness, constipation, increased heart rate, confusion and an alteration in the bodyweight.
Dose of trazodone
There is no specific dose for using trazodone in the management of insomnia. It appears that the dose that is normally given to manage depression is what is sufficient to treat lack of sleep. Whatever the dose that the patient is taking, it must always be borne in mind that any change in dose must be done on advice of a healthcare professional and not because the patient is unable to experience the beneficial effects of taking trazodone.
Trazodone is a popular antidepressant medication. However, its use extends to the management of difficulty sleeping. This use is in fact a side effect of the drug and should therefore be monitored closely. Any use of trazodone must be supervised by a trained healthcare professional.